Introduction: Increased life expectancy has made possible radical treatment of localized prostate cancer in patients over 70 years of age. Perioperative morbidity of radical prostatectomy in elderly patients depending on surgical procedure has not been adequately analyzed. Objectives: To comparatively analyze the incidence, severity, and management of perioperative complications of retropubic versus laparoscopic radical prostatectomy in patients older than 70 years. Material and methods: A retrospective review was made of 68 patients over 70 years of age (of whom 42 underwent retropubic and 26 laparoscopic radical prostatectomy) taken from a series of 500 patients. The modified Clavien classification was used to study complications from both surgical procedures. Results: The overall complication rate was 59.5% for the retropubic and 23% for the laparoscopic procedure (P=.003). Three grade I, 2 grade Id, 19 grade II, and 1 grade IId complications were seen with retropubic surgery, as compared to 2 grade I and 5 grade Id complications with the laparoscopic procedure. The most common complications included intraoperative bleeding (38%) and urinaryi fistula (15%) respectively. Conclusions: Radical prostatectomy is a procedure that is not free from complications in patients older than 70 years, though these are usually mild. The advantages usually attributed to laparoscopy also apply to elderly patients, and should therefore be considered as the procedure of choice. © 2009 AEU.
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